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I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. #2869430
07/15/19 08:09 AM
07/15/19 08:09 AM
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PianoWVBob Online content OP
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I'm a beginner (6 months now) and thought I was doing ok for that amount of time. I have learned my way around the keyboard a bit and have been learning some simple pieces (Carolyn Miller's Remembrance is one and a jazzy version of have yourself a very merry christmas is another) along with just practicing scales, chords and arpeggios and stuff.

My sister asked me (she lives on the other side of the US) to send her a video so that she could see my progress. I got the wife with her iPhone and told her; I know that I'm going to do a few stop and starts, I'll tell you when to go...

Well, after 15 tries; false starts, horrible freeze ups, I quit for the day. There is SOMETHING about showing someone what I can do and putting it to tape that causes me to freeze and over think things and thus make mistakes.

So this morning I thought that I'd just put the iPhone at the end of the keyboard and play some stuff, no pressure and see if I could get 20 seconds of good playing recorded for her.

What I found was that I play EXTREMELY slowly (when I think I'm not) and I hesitate when changing positions/chords (when I think it's much less of a hesitation than it is)

It was quite an eye opener. I think I was being "rubato" and "souful" and what I was doing was being slow and halting. It wasn't at all fun to watch.

Just thought I'd vent a bit. frown

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Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869432
07/15/19 08:19 AM
07/15/19 08:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 690
Sweden
Animisha Online content
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Hi Bob! It took me such a long time before I could record myself playing the piano and not be totally aghast with horror. For me, it was not tempo, it was claw hands. I did not improve until I got some really good feedback that finally got me on the right track. From your posting, it sounds as if you don't have a teacher. You will see this advice over and over here on ABF, get a teacher. So, yes, get a teacher! smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: Animisha] #2869434
07/15/19 08:29 AM
07/15/19 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Hi Bob! It took me such a long time before I could record myself playing the piano and not be totally aghast with horror. For me, it was not tempo, it was claw hands. I did not improve until I got some really good feedback that finally got me on the right track. From your posting, it sounds as if you don't have a teacher. You will see this advice over and over here on ABF, get a teacher. So, yes, get a teacher! smile


Ah, yes, the dreaded claw hand. I have that condition too and I am working to get rid of it.

Last edited by LarryK; 07/15/19 08:30 AM.

Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869435
07/15/19 08:31 AM
07/15/19 08:31 AM
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It can be quite disheartening to see oneself from the outside. But it is probably the best way to improve, so I think you should look at this from the bright side: you now have a clear understanding of where effort needs to be made in order to improve your playing.

By the way, at only six months in, you really shouldn't be hard on yourself. The average world class pianist was not ready for prime-time after their first six months. smile


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28, Pianoteq 6.5 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869438
07/15/19 08:35 AM
07/15/19 08:35 AM
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Yes...that's a good spin on it. Maybe I will keep video recording myself weekly to improve.

I think that the most shocking thing was the difference between what I THOUGHT was happening and what was REALLY happening. smile

Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869441
07/15/19 08:54 AM
07/15/19 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Yes...that's a good spin on it. Maybe I will keep video recording myself weekly to improve.

I think that the most shocking thing was the difference between what I THOUGHT was happening and what was REALLY happening. smile
.

It happens to all of us.... in my dreams, I play like Horowitz and then I listen to a self-recording ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ™€


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

Itโ€™s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869442
07/15/19 08:58 AM
07/15/19 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think that the most shocking thing was the difference between what I THOUGHT was happening and what was REALLY happening. smile


The recipe for seeing things like they really are is to pay close attention to them (while not labeling them). Unfortunately this demands a lot of energy, which may or may not be available. The best advice I know of in this situation is to pay careful attention to the sound of your own playing, and practice when you have a lot of mental energy.


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28, Pianoteq 6.5 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869449
07/15/19 09:22 AM
07/15/19 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob

I think that the most shocking thing was the difference between what I THOUGHT was happening and what was REALLY happening. smile


So true ! But the audience doesn't notice most of our mistakes.



Last edited by Serge88; 07/15/19 09:31 AM.


"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.โ€
โ€“ Maria Cristina

Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869454
07/15/19 09:32 AM
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Hahaha...I'm not alone in this.

I have a newfound respect for folks who can play under pressure and make it look easy.

Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: QuasiUnaFantasia] #2869457
07/15/19 09:38 AM
07/15/19 09:38 AM
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Florida
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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I think that the most shocking thing was the difference between what I THOUGHT was happening and what was REALLY happening. smile


The recipe for seeing things like they really are is to pay close attention to them (while not labeling them). Unfortunately this demands a lot of energy, which may or may not be available. The best advice I know of in this situation is to pay careful attention to the sound of your own playing, and practice when you have a lot of mental energy.


Of course we need to do mindful listening .... but there are so many things going on at one time that we do miss a lot .the best advice I have is to record yourself and play it back.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

Itโ€™s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: dogperson] #2869470
07/15/19 10:14 AM
07/15/19 10:14 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 690
Sweden
Animisha Online content
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Originally Posted by dogperson
the best advice I have is to record yourself and play it back.

It is good advice, but you need to know what to look for, and then, what to do about the problems you notice. Now for a problem like tempo, the solution seems easy: start playing with a metronome. But of course, a problem with tempo can be caused by ineffective or inadequate technique, and that might be much harder for a beginner to detect - and to know how to improve. But once you're a bit on your way, it is extremely useful to record yourself and play it back.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869498
07/15/19 11:43 AM
07/15/19 11:43 AM
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Red light syndrome (performance anxiety when recording) is pretty common. I can avoid it by not recording until I know the song really well. When I know the song really well, I set up the phone on a tripod to recored and then I play the song several times and pick the rendition that I think feels and sounds the best to me.

Both audio and video recording for evaluation is great because as you pointed out, perception doesn't always equal reality. When I used to shoot competitively, I would always practice with a shot timer because even thought I thought I was doing something fast, the shot timer would usually tell a different story.

God Bless,
David

Last edited by David B; 07/15/19 11:45 AM.

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Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: Animisha] #2869502
07/15/19 11:55 AM
07/15/19 11:55 AM
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Long Island, NY
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by dogperson
the best advice I have is to record yourself and play it back.

It is good advice, but you need to know what to look for, and then, what to do about the problems you notice. Now for a problem like tempo, the solution seems easy: start playing with a metronome. But of course, a problem with tempo can be caused by ineffective or inadequate technique, and that might be much harder for a beginner to detect - and to know how to improve. But once you're a bit on your way, it is extremely useful to record yourself and play it back.



This is really great advice and to add to this, I uploaded a recording of a piece a few days go to a Facebook Piano Technique group and got a lot of great feedback (yes some was tough and I ended up rage-deleting the post later once I reviewed the score in more detail and realized how many wrong notes I had actually learned incorrectly) but now I know to focus on those aspects of the piece when I practice it. Just be sure to post anonymously, lol..


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Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: dogperson] #2869516
07/15/19 12:31 PM
07/15/19 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson


It happens to all of us.... in my dreams, I play like Horowitz and then I listen to a self-recording ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ™€


My teacher would laugh about thinking that she played the "Minute" Waltz fast as blue blazes, then hearing a recording of herself sounding more like, "La . . . . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . ."

There's a cliche, "If you can play it slowly, you can play it quickly!" But, one must "think forward" and not "stall out" on each note while playing slowly, or it won't speed up. wink


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869521
07/15/19 12:45 PM
07/15/19 12:45 PM
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We have all been there and still there as you work on tougher material. My teacher recommended I use the metronome and record to help. I donโ€™t love the,metronome practice, but it helped me get my internal clock clicking correctly. Practice more than you think you need it. Get a teacher soon.


Dream came true : playing the piano
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Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869522
07/15/19 12:47 PM
07/15/19 12:47 PM
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When I started learning last year, I had a hard time finding a teacher, and so started lessons after about 7 months of self learning. Hesitations and pauses were one of the first things my teacher pointed out! I takes work to get those changes in hand position smooth, but keep working at it, it gets better.

I tried recording myself recently too, and found it so frustrating! I did get something that sounded ok in the end, so I am guessing that it gets easier over time.

A teacher really helps, because we don't know what we are doing wrong, and what we can do to improve...Rhythm and tempo is another weak spot for me, but we are working on that too.

Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: Suni] #2869527
07/15/19 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Suni
When I started learning last year, I had a hard time finding a teacher, and so started lessons after about 7 months of self learning. Hesitations and pauses were one of the first things my teacher pointed out! I takes work to get those changes in hand position smooth, but keep working at it, it gets better.

I tried recording myself recently too, and found it so frustrating! I did get something that sounded ok in the end, so I am guessing that it gets easier over time.

A teacher really helps, because we don't know what we are doing wrong, and what we can do to improve...Rhythm and tempo is another weak spot for me, but we are working on that too.




My teacher told me that she is my mirror, and I find that to be true. It is hard to play and watch yourself play. It helps to have someone who sees what youโ€™re doing and corrects you as you play.

I often think my lesson wonโ€™t be worthwhile before I show up and afterwards, I feel that the lesson has been a revelation to me. I know I just have to keep practicing every day in order to make progress and that small incremental progress is the nature of learning the piano, or any musical instrument.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: PianoWVBob] #2869532
07/15/19 01:08 PM
07/15/19 01:08 PM
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I always have PianoTeq running when I play, not for the sound (in fact I have it muted), but because it's got a very nice feature which records your playing continuously and breaks up the midi files based on pauses. This is great because I can then listen to my practicing, which is very useful to find things I didn't catch when I was focusing on the mechanics of my playing, and means I occasionally capture a really good play through of a piece that I can then save off for things like recitals or sending to my mom smile

Last edited by Chrispy; 07/15/19 01:08 PM.

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Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: WhoDwaldi] #2869533
07/15/19 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by dogperson


It happens to all of us.... in my dreams, I play like Horowitz and then I listen to a self-recording ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ™€


My teacher would laugh about thinking that she played the "Minute" Waltz fast as blue blazes, then hearing a recording of herself sounding more like, "La . . . . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . la . . . ."

There's a cliche, "If you can play it slowly, you can play it quickly!" But, one must "think forward" and not "stall out" on each note while playing slowly, or it won't speed up. wink

I have the opposite 'problem' - I often play much faster than I think I am, and only realize it when I set my stopwatch on, and then compare my timings to that of professional pianists' recordings/performances. Music seems to take its own time when you're in the middle of it.......

(BTW, I always use a stopwatch to time myself prior to a recital, to see if it's too long - or not long enough -, not to see how fast I can manage to play all the pieces wink . If it's too long, I might cut out a piece; if too short, I'll add another.)

What I know for certain is that when I have a fast & furious piece (my preferred sort of music smirk ) fully in my fingers, I tend to play it faster than I originally intended it - and even faster in performance. On the other hand, if it's a slow piece, I tend to slow it down because I notice things that I want to bring out to the audience by subtle (or not-so-subtle) rubato.

Going back to the OP, if you're self-learning, it's very easy to develop all sorts of musical and technical problems that get ingrained if you don't have any sort of 'scrutiny' from someone who is experienced. Even recording yourself won't necessarily solve the issue - you don't know what you don't know. I've seen someone listening to himself play after recording himself - with hesitations in every measure - and didn't hear anything wrong with it.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: I didn't know that I play too slow and hesitate too. [Re: David B] #2869539
07/15/19 01:37 PM
07/15/19 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by David B
Red light syndrome (performance anxiety when recording) is pretty common. I can avoid it by not recording until I know the song really well. When I know the song really well, I set up the phone on a tripod to recored and then I play the song several times and pick the rendition that I think feels and sounds the best to me.

Both audio and video recording for evaluation is great because as you pointed out, perception doesn't always equal reality. When I used to shoot competitively, I would always practice with a shot timer because even thought I thought I was doing something fast, the shot timer would usually tell a different story.

God Bless,
David


Hi David
The point of recording, in this instance, is not to get your โ€˜best effortโ€™ but your โ€˜practice effortโ€™ so you can hear what needs elbow grease. If you are like most of us, you concentrate on so much when you practice: fingering, pedaling, dynamics, phrasing, etc that some parts of listening get lost in the โ€˜diingโ€™. It is basically gaining another set of ears to play back while you are still practicing.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

Itโ€™s ok to be a Work In Progress
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